The Nanjing Treaty History Museum is housed in the Jinghai Temple which itself is close to the city wall in the northwest of the city. The small museum houses a collection of photographs and paintings, maps and documents relating to the Treaty of Nanjing which was signed between the British and Qing dynasty to mark the end of the First Opium War.
Covering an area of 12.9 hectares, Nanjing Museum is situated inside the Zhongshan Gate of the city from which it takes its name. It was originally established in 1933, and now exhibits some 2,000 first class treasures of national and cultural interest. There are eleven exhibition halls which exhibit the following:
Ancient Chinese Earthenware
Ancient Chinese Jade
Ancient Chinese Calligraphy & Painting
Jiangnan Silk Product
Ming and Qing Porcelain
Open: 9am-4.30pm. Admission: Free.
This was one of a few jade suits of armour made from small jade tiles that I saw throughout my trip in China. This one dates from the Eastern Han dynasty (2nd century A.D.) and is threaded with silver. It was unearthed in Tushan, Xuzhou, Jiangsu province.
I entered the Nanjing Museum not expecting much and received a pleasant surprise. This is for the fact that the Nanjing Museum turned out to be quite good. The museum is small considering it is suppose to be a provincial museum in a city of over 5 million but the exhibits here are still very well presented. In a similar manner as the Shanghai museum, the exhibits are order in various hall dedicated to a particular art form popular in China during its long history. The Lacquer-ware Hall is particularly notable but I think that I enjoyed the porcelain works the most. As with any Chinese museum, the Jade-ware should also be seen to be believed. I visited this museum late in the day and I found that I wish that I had given it more time for I stayed until closing.
The Nanjing Museum is open daily from 9am to 4:30pm and a visit costs Y20.
Displays span 5,000 years of history and include prehistoric pottery, bronzes, jewelry, shell ware and iron tools, Ming and Qing Dynasty porcelain, printed works, handicrafts and furniture, a 2,000-year-old jade burial garment, and the world's first seismograph.
This is a really excellent museum - one of the best in China. It is well laidout, with excellent captions in Chinese and English throughout. The large rooms are well lit, and follow a logical progression.
It is not too large, and you are never overwhelmed by the quantity. The quality of exhibits is just superb, with some real national treasures.
Notable 'must not miss' items include the Jade Burial Suit, the tall blue and white Zun vase, the southern dynasties brickwork, and the stunning lacquerware. Oh...and the absolutely beaustiful Dawenkou culture bowl.
And then there's the silks. And, yes, the Eastern Han bronze lamp in the shape of an ox (pictured on their web home page).
This museum will take the casual visitor several hours. The afficionado of Chinese civilization may need to spend a whole day there.
The gift shop (on the lower ground floor....the main entrance is on the upper floor) is very good and has a variety of excellent museum guide-books - almost unique in China!
Bronze wares of West Zhou dynasty (11th century BC - 771 BC) and Spring and Autumn period (770 BC - 476 BC).